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Common Names: Care must be taken to differentiate between two herbs known as Celandine. Greater Celandine of the Poppy Family: Balsam Weed, Celendyne, Chelidonium, Garden Celandine, Great Celandine, Jewel Weed, Pale Touch-Me-Not, Quick-in-Hand, Slipper Weed, Slippers, Snap Weed, Tetterwort, Touch-Me-Not, Weathercock. Lesser Celandine of the Buttercup Family: Pilewort
Scientific Name: Chelidonium Majus L., Papaveraceae (Poppy Family),Ranunculus Ficaria(Lesser Celandine), Buttercup Family
Common Uses: Alterativeantispasmodic, cathartic, caustic, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, purgative, vulnerary, mild laxative and digestive aid. In folk medicine, the fresh plant was used in ointments for hemorrhoids, while the juice was used for removing warts.Greater celandine: Celandine was used in folk remedies to relieve abdominal distress; and is currently being tested as a cancer drug. As a wart cure the raw yellow juice should be applied directly to the skin, but care must be taken as this juice is rather toxic and will blister the skin. Skin can be neutralized with diluted vinegar and water. It is necessary to point out that celandine tea by itself is seldom used any more. Instead, Celandine is an active ingredient of teas for the stomach, intestinal tract, gonorrhea, constipation, cough, gallstones, neuralgia, chorea, diarrhea, rheumatism, nose bleed, pneumonia, whooping cough, jaundice, and liver. The fresh juice mixed with vinegar may be applied for removal of warts and corns. It may also be made into an ointment to be used on various skin diseases, such as ringworm, eczema, tetters, skin cancers, and skin tuberculosis. Lesser Celandine: Despite doubtful reasoning, it remains true that an ointment prepared from the crushed root will stop the discomfort from piles. For extra benefit, add Stonecrop (Sedum Album) or Toadflax to the ointment. The same preparation will also heal boils, old wounds, ulcers, scrofula, sores, and painful whitlows (a painful infection at the end of a finger or toe near the nail). As the name Pilewort suggests, this herb treats hemorrhoids.
*Warnings: Do not give this herb to children. Do not confuse greater celandine with the small or Lesser Celandine herb. Greater Celandine: Strong doses are harmful, due to the caustic properties of the plant. Skin poisoning has been reported from handling the crushed plant. Toxic: Stem juice highly irritating, allergenic, may cause paralysis. Its use is not recommended without medical supervision.
Origin: Greater Celandine: Found in hedgerows and wastes. Introduced into this country from Europe, it now grows principally along walls, paths, and fences and in landfills. Celandine seeds have an appendage that ants find delicious, so they carry the seeds and plants can be found anywhere as a result.